2002 Regular Session
By: Representative Shows
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING CONSERVATION PLANS COLLECTED BY THE MISSISSIPPI SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION COMMISSION IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC RECORDS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, information collected by the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, hereinafter referred to as "commission", or a conservation district is not subject to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 and may not be disclosed if the information is collected in response to a specific request from a landowner or the landowner's agent or tenant for technical assistance relating to a water quality management plan or other conservation plan if this assistance is to be provided on private land that:
(a) Is part of a conservation plan or water quality management plan developed cooperatively with the commission or conservation district; or
(b) Is the subject of a report prepared by the commission or conservation district.
(2) The commission or a conservation district may disclose information regarding a tract of land to:
(a) The owner of the tract or the owner's agent or tenant; and
(b) A person other than the owner or the owner's agent or tenant if:
(i) The owner or the agent or tenant consents in writing to full or specified partial disclosure of the information; and
(ii) The consent is attached to each plan or report regarding the tract prepared by the commission or local conservation district.
(3) The commission or a conservation district may disclose, in a manner that prevents the identification of a particular tract of land, the owner of the tract or the owner's agent or tenant, a summary of information collected by the commission or local conservation district regarding:
(a) The number of acres of land that are in a particular conservation plan;
(b) The number of acres of land that are subject to a particular conservation practice; or
(c) Other conservation program information.
(4) The commission or a conservation district shall provide a person with notice regarding this section at the time the person requests technical assistance from the commission or conservation district.
(5) The commission or a conservation district may disclose information to a law enforcement agency of this state or the United States in compliance with a subpoena for the information.
(6) The commission or a conservation district may disclose information relating to water quality complaints or compliance failures to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
(7) The commission or a conservation district may disclose to the attorney general information relating to a breach of contract.
(8) The commission or a conservation district may not be held liable for damage caused by a violation of this section.
(9) A reference in this section to the commission or a conservation district includes an officer, employee or agent of the commission or conservation district.
SECTION 2. This act shall cover information collected as a result of existing or future conservation plans or reports.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.